FTC urged to investigate easy-to-hack smartwatches for kids

Smartwatches for kids are marketed as a way for parents to remotely keep tabs on kids, but a new report claims the smartwatches have serious privacy and security flaws that could allow a stranger to “easily seize control of the watches and use them to track and eavesdrop on children.” The Norwegian Consumer Council (NCC) and the security firm Mnemonic tested smartwatches for kids and determined, “In a few simple steps, a stranger can take control of the watch and track, eavesdrop on and communicate with the child.” Mnemonic discovered “significant security flaws in three of the four devices tested, which may lead to information about GPS watch users’ location and activities ending up in the wrong hands. The flaws are not technically difficult to exploit, and in two cases, allow a third party to covertly take control over the watch.” The five vulnerabilities identified include unauthorized access, remote audio surveillance, location spoofing, the emergency functionality “SOS” is compromised and data is insecurely stored.

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